Sunday, February 13, 2005

Extreme Sports - Hampstead Style

A couple of weeks ago on a bitterly cold afternoon, I went for a stroll around Hampstead Heath. Whilst there, I naturally headed to Parliament Hill to take in the view.



There's a nice story that Guy Fawkes and co sat on the hill, hoping to see the Old Palace blow up. I'm led to believe it is little more than that though - a story - but nonethess back in the day, before the likes of UCLH's spanking new building existed and obscured the view, the old Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey must have dominated a fairly flat skyline. As it goes, you can see Big Ben, some four miles away, peeping through in the centre of the photo (cleeeeg for beeeeg)

So the hill now is a focal point for kite flying rather than Catholic Fundamentalist Terror Groups; and indeed, there were a number of people doing just that. But there was one bloke there with a parachute...



He was attempting to (I believe it's called) Paraglide, using Parliament Hill as his take off runway. He wasn't particularly successful. In fact, he wasn't at all successful. He would spend a while trying to get the chute to catch the wind, and then run like billy-o down the hill, occasionally jumping in the air. Invariably until he ran out of hill.



Quite what he hoped/expected to happen if he had taken off I don't know (apart from the trees, there is an electrified Railway at the bottom of the hill). Perhaps he envisaged himself soaring majestically over the urban panorama. As it was, he had to make do with me giggling and taking photos of his folly.

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